CHRISTINE CHIHAME, Mansa
GOVERNMENT says it is committed to restoring the natural forestry in the country.
Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa said it was worrying that the country was losing over 250 hectares of trees because of deforestation in the countryâ€™s natural forestry.
Mr Chilangwa observed that there is need to restore the natural forestry if the country is to fight the impact of climate change.
He said this during the recent launch of the provincial tree planting programme in Mansa.
â€œForestry can be the countryâ€™s highest income-earner if well managed, and there is need to remove people that have encroached on forests the country has preserved as natural forestry,â€ he said.
And principal forestry officer Odilia Longe said the role of the Forestry Department is critical in the countryâ€™s management of climate change.
Ms Longe said there is need to fund her department adequately.
She said if well-funded, the department has the potential to create employment for thousands of Zambians.
Ms Longe said there is need for more funding to be channelled towards the protection of forestry which, if left unguarded, could increase the rate at which the country is losing forestry.
â€œThe department at provincial level has embarked on a programme to plant at least 1,000 trees per constituency and all people to at least plant a tree,â€ she said.
The country observes the National Tree Planting from December 15 to January 15, and this year the exercise was commemorated under the theme â€˜Natural tree regeneration for forestry restorationâ€™.